Dingwall and Skye Railway

Introduction

This railway crosses northern Scotland, running west from Inverness via Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh. The original terminus was at Stromeferry.

It is a scenic line passing mountains and inland lochs. From Stromeferry it follows the coast. The line is single track with passing places at Garve, Achnasheen and Strathcarron.

There is no regular freight service.

The distances are
Inverness to Dingwall 18 miles
Dingwall to Stromeferry 53 miles
Stromeferry to Kyle of Lochalsh 10 miles
Overall 81 miles

The line is supported and promoted by the Friends of the Kyle Line .






Dates

05/07/1865Dingwall and Skye Railway
Dingwall and Skye Railway authorised to run west from Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh.
02/05/1868Dingwall and Skye Railway
Deviation authorised; Kyle of Lochalsh to Attadale not to be built. Attadale to have a terminus and pier. Engineer; Joseph Mitchell & Company. Contractors; J & A Granger (Dingwall to Achanalt), A & K Macdonald (Achanalt to Attadale) and Donald McGregor & Company (Attadale Pier).
  /  /1869Dingwall and Skye Railway
Terminus plans altered from Attadale to Strome Ferry around this time.
05/08/1870Dingwall and Skye Railway
Opened to goods traffic only
19/08/1870Dingwall and Skye Railway
Railway opened. Stations at Strathpeffer [1st], Garve, Achanalt, Achnasheen, Strathcarron and Strome Ferry. Loops at Garve, Achnasheen, Strathcarron and Strome Ferry.
19/08/1870Dingwall and Skye Railway
Line opened from Dingwall to Stromeferry pier.
09/11/1870Dingwall and Skye Railway
S.S. Oscar lost off Applecross
  /  /1871Dingwall and Skye Railway
Hotel at Achnasheen, designed by Alexander Ross, opened
  /  /1872Dingwall and Skye Railway
Glencarron Platform opened.
26/04/1872Dingwall and Skye Railway
Lochluichart [1st], a private platform, becomes public and is re-built further west (Lochluichart [2nd]).
31/07/1872Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strome Ferry Engine Shed burns down
  /  /1873Dingwall and Skye Railway
Attadale Platform opened
24/04/1877Dingwall and Skye Railway
Highland Railway takes over steamer operations.
01/03/1878Dingwall and Skye Railway
Siding opened at Attadale.
30/03/1880Dingwall and Skye Railway
P.S. Carham grounds off Raasay.
17/04/1880Dingwall and Skye Railway
Highland Railway abandons steamer operations in favour of David MacBrayne.
01/09/1880Dingwall and Skye RailwayHighland Railway
Amalgamation of the Dingwall and Skye Railway with Highland Railway.
04/01/1882Dingwall and Skye Railway
First Skye Bogie locomotive introduced
01/06/1885Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strathpeffer [1st] renamed Auchterneed for opening of Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway).
16/10/1891Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strome Ferry station train shed burns down
01/06/1900Dingwall and Skye Railway
Achnashellach box and loop opened.
13/06/1911Dingwall and Skye Railway
Highland Hotel [Strathpeffer] opens.
01/07/1914Dingwall and Skye Railway
Luib Crossing opens
  /  /1917Dingwall and Skye Railway
American Mine base opens at Kyle of Lochalsh.
  /  /1918Dingwall and Skye Railway
American Mine base at Kyle of Lochalsh closes.
16/01/1919Dingwall and Skye Railway
Loan Crossing and sidings opens for Admiralty (Alternative date: 1 February 1918)
  /  /1920Dingwall and Skye Railway
Highland Railway purchases Loan Crossing from Admiralty.
  /  /1920Dingwall and Skye Railway
Loan Crossing and sidings closed.
  /  /1921Dingwall and Skye Railway
Loan Crossing and sidings lifted.
  /10/1925Dingwall and Skye Railway
Raven Rock Summit quarry siding opens.
  /  /1936Dingwall and Skye Railway
Fodderty Junction box closes (for 4 years).
  /09/1937Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strome Ferry pier demolished.
  /07/1939Dingwall and Skye Railway
Raven Rock Summit quarry closes.
23/06/1940Dingwall and Skye Railway
Fodderty Junction box re-opens.
20/08/1944Dingwall and Skye Railway
Fodderty Junction box closes.
  /03/1952Dingwall and Skye Railway
Raven Rock Summit siding removed.
01/05/1954Dingwall and Skye Railway
Lochluichart [2nd] and two miles of track close. (Alternative date : 3 May 1954)
03/05/1954Dingwall and Skye Railway
Lochluichart (new) and diversion open.
27/01/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Lochluichart (new) closed to goods.
27/01/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Achnashellach closed to goods.
18/05/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Auchterneed closed to goods.
15/06/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Stromeferry closed to goods.
02/11/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Achanalt closed to goods.
07/12/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Auchterneed closed to passengers.
07/12/1964Dingwall and Skye Railway
Glencarron closed to passengers. (Alternative date: 1966).
20/03/1966Dingwall and Skye Railway
Stromeferry east and west signal boxes and loop closed.
22/03/1966Dingwall and Skye Railway
Achnashellach box and loop closed.
23/03/1966Dingwall and Skye Railway
Achanalt East and West boxes and loop closed.
24/03/1966Dingwall and Skye Railway
Auchterneed box and loop closed.
15/08/1966Dingwall and Skye Railway
Attadale closed to goods.
  /11/1969Dingwall and Skye Railway
Building of first road along south shore of Loch Carron leads to temporary blockage of line.
13/03/1970Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strathcarron to Stromeferry re-opens (following major blockage).
  /12/1971Dingwall and Skye Railway
Announcement of line closure on the 31rst of December 1973 by Secretary of State for Scotland.
26/03/1973Dingwall and Skye Railway
Ullapool to Stornoway ferry service starts.
02/11/1973Dingwall and Skye Railway
Line reprieved until the 31rst of December 1974.
31/12/1973Dingwall and Skye Railway
Original planned closure.
  /  /1974Dingwall and Skye Railway
Decision taken to retain line and use in connection with Oil Platform construction.
31/12/1974Dingwall and Skye Railway
End of period of reprieve, but line retained for Oil Industry.
  /  /1975Dingwall and Skye Railway
Howard Doris^ Loch Kishorn Fabrication Yard depot opened at Strome Ferry.
  /  /1979Dingwall and Skye Railway
Ground frame and siding removed at Attadale.
  /  /1982Dingwall and Skye Railway
Depot at Strome Ferry closed and track disconnected from main line.
01/04/1984Dingwall and Skye Railway
Garve East and West boxes close.
17/06/1984Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strathcarron East box closes.
17/06/1984Dingwall and Skye Railway
Strathcarron West box converted into gate box.
13/07/1984Dingwall and Skye Railway
Radio Electric Token Block introduced
  /  /1988Dingwall and Skye Railway
Disused depot track at Strome Ferry lifted

Portions of line and locations

This line is divided into a number of portions.


Dingwall to Stromeferry

This junction is north of Dingwall station. This is where the line from Inverness divides into portions running west to Kyle of Lochalsh on the west coast and Thurso and Wick on the north coast. Both lines are single track. Just to the south is the north end of the loop through Dingwall station. There is a pedestrian level crossing and the former Dingwall Canal passes ...

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See also
Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
This bridge carries the line at Dingwall Junction over the former Dingwall Canal. The view looks south towards the station. The junction is located ...
Ewan Crawford //2207
Next stop Dingwall. Heading south after passing through Dingwall Junction on 1 October 2009 is ScotRail 158720 forming the 1203 service from Kyle of ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
Dingwall Junction viewed from the south. Sprinter train at Junction. ...
Ewan Crawford //
The 1203 service from Kyle of Lochalsh about to join the route from Wick and Thurso at Dingwall Junction on 1 October 2009 on its way to Inverness. ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
4 of 6 images. more




This panel box was located on the Kyle of Lochalsh line, west of Dingwall Junction. It was between Dingwall No 1 LC and Dingwall Middle LC and was on the south side of the line. Dingwall No 2 LC is even further west.
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Dingwall Crossing Panel Box, a panel gatebox, on the Kyle line between two level crossings in Dingwall. View looks from the east Dingwall No 1 LC to ...
Ewan Crawford //1989
1 of 1 images.




The crossing opened with the building of a new bypass and main road north from Dingwall, Newton Road.
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A Kyle of Lochalsh service crawling towards Dingwall middle crossing on 15th March 2017. ...
Brian Smith 15/03/2017
1 of 1 images.


A sprinter at the No 2 crossing at Dingwall. The crossing is ungated and there have, unfortunately, been some meetings of trains and cars. ...
John Gray //
1 of 1 images.


This was the junction between the Dingwall and Skye Railway and the 1885 branch to Strathpeffer. The town town had been, at its request, bypassed by the Dingwall and Skye Railway when it opened in 1870. With the tourist development of Strathpeffer as a Spa town a branch, approaching from the east, opened in 1885 from this junction, a little west of Dingwall.
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See also
Strathpeffer Branch (Highland Railway)
GBXI ran to Kyle of Lochalsh on 22nd April. Unfortunately the weather lived down to its reputation and the rain came on in earnest around Achanalt. B1 ...
John Gray 22/04/2018
Eastbound at the former Fodderty Junction in 2004, with Knock Farrel in the background left. ...
Ewan Crawford 17/07/2004
A cheery toot of the horn and a thumbs up from the cab of 66104 as it climbs away from the site of Fodderty Junction on 21 June with five ballast ...
John Gray 21/06/2015
Looking west at Fodderty Junction level crossing. ...
Ewan Crawford //
4 of 4 images.


This was the first station to serve Strathpeffer, just under two miles to the south. It was inconveniently located away from the town and up a hill due to local opposition (largely Sir William Mackenzie, 9th Baronet of Coul House) to taking the line through the town.
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View looking west at Auchterneed station. ...
Ewan Crawford //
Sparkling Deltic no 55 022 Royal Scots Grey climbs the 1 in 50 gradient between Fodderty Junction and Achterneed on 28 May hauling the SRPS ...
John Gray 28/05/2011
A brief respite for this Kyle train behind 5333 in the 1970s. The train is on the short stretch of 1 in 350 gradient through Achterneed, before ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
A reluctant trainspotter watches a Kyle-Inverness train drift east down the bank through Achterneed (closed 1965) heading for Dingwall in 1988. ...
David Spaven //1988
4 of 5 images. more


This is one of two notable summits on the Kyle line, this being a summit of 458 ft (further west is Luib Summit of 646 ft). Many trains would require banking, a locomotive pushing in the rear to assist the climb, going west, from Dingwall. Also known as Raven^s Rock Summit.
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The driver of K4 61994 The Great Marquess shuts off steam as he nears Raven^s Rock Summit west of Achterneed on 19 April with the GBIV ...
John Gray 19/04/2011
A Kyle-bound Hebridean Express charter breasts Ravens Rock summit in the 1970s. ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
A Type 2 hauling eight vehicles battles its way up the 1 in 50 to Raven^s Rock summit, between Achterneed and Garve, in the spring of 1971. The train ...
David Spaven //1971
Bird^s-eye view of a Kyle of Lochalsh - Inverness train at Ravens Rock summit, west of Achterneed, in the 1970s. ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //
4 of 4 images.


This is a single track three girder viaduct at the south east end of Loch Garve between Garve station and Raven Rock Summit.
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With the light rapidly fading, Statesman Rails ^Lord of the Isles ^ railtour climbs away from Loch Garve on the way back to Inverness from Kyle of ...
John Gray 20/10/2019
1 of 1 images.


This is a two platform station with an original station building, now in other uses, on the up (eastbound) platform.
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Garve station is the first stop and passing loop on the Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh line although there was previously a station between here and ...
David Bosher 18/06/2019
61306 ^Mayflower^ hauls ^The Highlands and Islands Explorer^ past Loch Garve on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh on 12th May 2019. The number of Wacky ...
John Gray 12/05/2019
View north across the platforms at Garve in September 2009.
See query 2039 ...
John Furnevel 26/09/2009
Garve looking to Dingwall. ...
Ewan Crawford 03/01/1989
4 of 25 images. more


This private halt was to the south and downhill of Lochluichart Lodge, which it served.
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This was a single platform station with a small building and small goods yard. This station replaced a private halt Lochluichart [1st] which was closer to Lochluichart Lodge and to the east. The station closed when Loch Luichart was damned for a hydroscheme and replaced by a new station just to the north, Lochluichart.
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This is a single track four span girder viaduct east of Achanalt station. It crosses the watercourse, the River Bran, between Loch Achanalt (west) and Loch a^ Chuilinn. To the west the north side of Loch Achanalt. To the east the line is on the south side of Loch a^ Chuilinn. The viaduct is around 230 ft long.
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View from a train westbound on the Kyle line on the approach to Achanalt around the mid 1960s [with thanks to all who responded to this query]. ...
R Sillitto/A Renfrew Collection (Courtesy Bruce McCartney) //
K4 61994 The Great Marquess pictured east of Achanalt with The Great Britain II . Loch Achanalt in the background. Sgurr A Mhuilinn ...
John Gray 11/04/2009
D5117 and D5120 cross the River Bran between Loch Achanalt and Loch a^ Chuilinn on 13 September 1969 with the returning Scottish Grand Tour No. ...
Bill Jamieson 13/09/1969
Heading east from Achanalt this Sprinter crosses a famous Bridge. ...
Ewan Crawford 22/07/2004
4 of 4 images.


This was a two platform station. The original timber bulding (by Murdoch Paterson) on the up (eastbound) platform was lost in 1889. Its replacement survived until at least the 1960s.
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Class B1 4-6-0 No.1264 in LNER lined black livery pictured approaching Achanalt Station on the way to Kyle of Lochalsh on 22nd April with the GB XI ...
John Gray 22/04/2018
Black 5 No.44871 is pictured between Achanalt and Achnasheen with the GB IX trip to Kyle of Lochalsh.The River Bran in the background. ...
John Gray /05/2016
Evening scene at Achanalt in October 2009. View is east towards Dingwall. ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
Entrance to Achanalt station in October 2009. View south over the car park alongside the A832 road. ...
John Furnevel 01/10/2009
4 of 10 images. more


This is a two platform station with a loop. The platforms are slightly staggered. The station building on the up (eastbound) platform remains standing. It is of the same style by Murdoch Paterson as those at Strathcarron and Garve. The line crosses the River Bran at the west end of the station.
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K1 No.62005 heads * The Great Britain X * to Kyle of Lochalsh.Pictured
...
John Gray 06/05/2017
The ^Highlands & Islands Explorer^ approaching Achnasheen, hauled by 61306 ^Mayflower^ on 12th May 2019. In the background, the River Bran, the ruins ...
John Gray 12/05/2019
Achnasheen station, seen from 158712 with the ex-10.56 service from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, on 18th June 2019. This was only my second visit to ...
David Bosher 18/06/2019
Class 37 37421 heading for Inverness near Achnasheen ...
Gordon Steel 23/08/1987
4 of 51 images. more


This is a summit of 646 ft. It is 2 3/4 miles east of the former Loan Crossing.
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Black 5 No.44871 heading west to Kyle of Lochalsh with The Great Britain IX ,nearing the summit at Luib. ...
John Gray 02/05/2016
A break in the clouds allows the sun to shine on Black 5 No 45305 as it nears Luib Summit with the Great Britain V on 23 April. (The locomotive ...
John Gray 23/04/2012
2 of 2 images.


A relief siding was installed here in 1914 to assist with taking large loads up the Glencarron Bank. Long trains would be taken up in portions which were deposited here and then assembled into a single train for taking on to Achnasheen. The location was 2 3/4 miles east of Luib Summit, a little west of Loch Sgamhain. The siding was on the north side of the line, approached from the ...

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This was a single platform halt with a small wooden shelter and passenger operated signal to let drivers of trains know that a call was needed.
...

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Above Glencarron Platform, looking west. ...
Ewan Crawford //
1 of 1 images.


A setting down location served the railway cottages at Craig, two miles east of Achnashellach. There were no facilities. One train each way stopped to allow railwaymen^s wives to travel to Dingwall.
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This is a one platform station. There are not many facilities, just the platform. There is no parking here, but it may be possible nearby on the main road to the south of the station.
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Last call! Final train of the day about to leave Achnashellach for Inverness on 26 September 2009. ...
John Furnevel 26/09/2009
View from Achnashellach station towards Kyle of Lochalsh on 2 October 2009, as a grey mist slowly rolls in from the west. The gate on the right stands ...
John Furnevel 02/10/2009
The ^road^ approach to Achnashellach station from the north in September 2009 with the foot-crossing much used by walkers. ...
John Furnevel 29/09/2009
47826 brings up the rear of an SRPS railtour returning from Kyle of Lochalsh to Paisley Gilmour Street on 26 September 2009. The train is seen here ...
John Furnevel 26/09/2009
4 of 12 images. more


158715 on a Kyle to Inverness service crosses the A890 at Balnacra between Strathcarron and Achnashellach. A railwaymen^s halt was located here at one ...
Mark Bartlett 07/07/2012
1 of 1 images.


This is a two platform station with a passing loop on a single track railway. The main station building, of two storeys and of the same style as those at Achnasheen and Garve, is on the eastbound platform.
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Strathcarron signal cabin, still with a British Railways Scottish Region running-in board, on the Dingwall to Kyle of Lochalsh line, seen during a ...
David Bosher 06/04/1974
158715 and 158719 meet at Strathcarron on the Kyle of Lochalsh line on 11th July 2012. ...
Mark Bartlett 11/07/2012
A grab shot, through the train window, of Strathcarron west signal box in July 1963.
...
Colin Miller //1963
About to leave Strathcarron for Kyle of Lochalsh in October 2009. ...
John Furnevel 02/10/2009
4 of 30 images. more


This is a very small station with a single platform. The original small timber building has been replaced with a concrete equivalent. The platform is on the south side of the line. From the platform there is rather a fine view of Loch Carron and the beach. There is no car park but there is space for a car or two to park in a layby by the station.
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A Class 158, working from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, runs along the shore of Loch Carron between Strathcarron and Attadale on 7th July 2012. ...
Mark Bartlett 07/07/2012
Station entrance, Attadale, September 2009. ...
John Furnevel 29/09/2009
View south west towards Kyle of Lochalsh from the platform of a deserted Attadale station in September 2009. For the view in the opposite direction ...
John Furnevel 29/09/2009
Attadale looking east. ...
Ewan Crawford //1994
4 of 15 images. more


This concrete structure crosses over the railway and A890 south west of Attadale station. The shelter protects the railway and road from the cliff above to the south east.
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Driving along a railway on a Sunday afternoon, as you do. A van and trailer return to the roadway at the west end of the diversion of the Stromeferry ...
Michael Gibb 08/10/2018
A new meaning for ^taking to the tracks^ near the avalanche shelter on the Kyle line. The view looks east to the diversion of the Stromeferry Bypass ...
Michael Gibb 08/10/2018
The avalanche shelter alongside a placid Loch Carron, looking back towards Strome Ferry in Summer 1974. ...
David Spaven //1974
A Kyle bound Class 158 approaches the avalanche shelter near Attadale, as seen from the north shore of Loch Carron. There are only two trains each way ...
Mark Bartlett 08/07/2012
4 of 14 images. more


This is a single platform station located in the small village of Stromeferry with some parking nearby. It opened in 1870 and was the terminus of the railway from Dingwall near Inverness until extension west to Kyle of Lochalsh in 1897.
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See also
Kyle of Lochalsh Extension (Highland Railway)
A Kyle - Inverness train running between Loch Carron and the then new road near Stromeferry in August 1970. ...
Colin Miller /08/1970
The 1715 from Kyle to Inverness approaches Stromeferry negotiating the sharp curves along the shore of Loch Carron. 158705 was photographed from the ...
Mark Bartlett 10/07/2012
A full load for a Class 26 in Spring 1972, with two vans and seven coaches in tow. The train is en route to Inverness near Stromeferry. ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) //1972
The heavy rock blasting needed to take the railway on from Strome Ferry to Kyle is evident in this view taken from the cab of 26046 on a ...
Frank Spaven Collection (Courtesy David Spaven) 20/11/1982
4 of 20 images. more





Loch Kishorn






Loch Carron Lights, Beacons and Buoys

A series of lights and buoys were provided by the Highland Railway to protect steamers from a series of submerged rocks while passing Plockton on the approach to Strome Ferry Pier. A vessel approaching Strome Ferry Pier would leave Sgeir Golach Beacon to port, Cat Islands Lighthouse and Hawk Rock Buoy to starboard, then Bonadu Sgeir to port and, avoiding Birch Rock Buoy, leave Ulluva Beacon to starboard. A chart note ^The light, beacons and buoys are the property of the Highland Railway Company. The light is only shown for the Railway Company^s steamers during the fishing season^.



This belonged to a series of lights and buoys provided by the Highland Railway to protect steamers from a series of submerged rocks while passing Plockton on the approach to Strome Ferry Pier.
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